Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association

Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association (Товариство український робітничо-фармерський дім; Tovarystvo ukrainskyi robitnycho-farmerskyi dim, or ULFTA). A nationwide pro-Communist organization in Canada active in the interwar era. Established in Winnipeg in March 1918 as the Ukrainian Labour Temple Association on the basis of a recently completed Ukrainian labor hall, the group built upon and expanded the network of organizations encompassed by the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party of Canada. It obtained a Dominion charter in 1924, and in 1925 expanded its name to underline its desire to develop further in rural areas. Membership grew to 2,650 in 88 branches in 1929 and to approximately 10,000 in 201 branches (with 113 labor temples) in 1939. The association also developed women’s and young people’s sections; initiated and maintained a close affiliation with the Workers’ Benevolent Association and the Society for the Aid of the Liberation Movement in Western Ukraine; and operated an active publishing house, whose newspapers and journals included Ukraïns’ki robitnychi visty, Robitnytsia, Svit molodi, and Farmers’ke zhyttia. The activities of ULFTA worked in tandem with an overriding political connection to the Communist Party of Canada through the Communist-dominated ULFTA leadership. The group faced a major organizational crisis in 1935, when a group of ULFTA stalwarts led by Danylo Lobai broke ranks over the issues of the ULFTA’s bolshevization, the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 in Ukraine, and the disappearance of two former ULFTA cultural activists, Myroslav Irchan and I. Sembai, during the Stalinist purges and terror. Leading figures in the ULFTA included Matthew Popovich, Ivan Navizivsky, Matthew Shatulsky, and John Boychuk. The ULFTA was closed down under wartime regulations by Order in Council on 4 June 1940. It was succeeded in 1946 by the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.

Al'manakh TURFDim, 1918–1929 (Winnipeg 1930)
Lobai, Danylo. ‘Komunistychnyi rukh sered ukraïntsiv Kanady,’ in Propam'iatna knyha ukraïns’koho narodnoho domu v Vynypegu, ed Dmytro Doroshenko (Winnipeg 1949)
Kravchuk, Petro. Na novii zemli (Toronto 1958)
Kolasky, John (comp, ed, trans). Prophets and Proletarians: Documents on the History of the Rise and Decline of Ukrainian Communism in Canada (Edmonton 1990)
Martynowych, Orest. Ukrainians in Canada: The Interwar Years, Book 1 (Edmonton and Toronto 2016)

John Kolasky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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